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wanderlust

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Jun. 17th, 2002 | 01:41 pm

So I was looking at a site called carfree.com which about constructing car free cities. There is one such large city in the world--Venice.

Hmm... it'd be fun to go see what a car-free city feels like. Most of what I've read suggests they're far more livable. You don't need to look both ways before crossing the street, you don't need to wait for crosswalks. Since there are so many witnesses crime tends to be lower. You can sit outside and talk to someone without needing to shout over the traffic.

As traffic increases people flee farther and farther from it. Once people played and socialized on streets, then came the automobile and forced them onto sidewalks. Then more autos came and forced people to their porches, then then inside, and now to the backs of their homes as far from the cacophany rumbling past them as possible. There are those, who think we should start demanding that streets be made useful for people again.

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Comments {8}

Monument

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from: marnanel
date: Jun. 17th, 2002 02:44 pm (UTC)
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Here in Cambridge, the streets are gradually being closed off to traffic (other than buses, cycles and taxis) one by one. It makes walking around town a rather unusual experience: I'd never realised before how much walking down an ordinary city street is like walking beside a river (you're on one side, or the other, and it requires effort to switch).

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jun. 18th, 2002 08:57 am (UTC)
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Do you have any idea what's motivating the closure of streets? Some of the recent stories about england on the bbc news site suggests you're having traffic problems like the US, is that actually enough to motivate people to try alternatives?

I've gotten really sensitive to both the noise and smell from traffic.

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Monument

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from: marnanel
date: Jun. 18th, 2002 09:11 am (UTC)
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Air pollution, noise pollution, and the fact that it's just plain dangerous having cars around where there are also humans, so they shouldn't be driving around the centre of the city. Oh, and cars are uglier than humans too. I don't know why in particular they're pursuing this policy, but Cambridge is quite well-known for heavily encouraging the use of bikes; we have some other neat things, too, like natural-gas-powered buses and out-of-town park and ride systems. I don't know what it's like in other towns.

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[you'll find a light, find a friend, find a way]

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from: artemii
date: Jun. 17th, 2002 03:50 pm (UTC)
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Dear Alienghic,
Never, ever, ever move to Athens. It is the opposite of Venice. Trust me on this.
Love,
Artemii.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jun. 17th, 2002 04:19 pm (UTC)
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Hmm... the way you volunteered that information, suggests you has some really horrible experiences in athens.

I had heard that pollution is decomposing many of the historical landmarks in athens.

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[you'll find a light, find a friend, find a way]

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from: artemii
date: Jun. 17th, 2002 04:44 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, it is.

It's not that I had a horrible experience there -- it's that it's the most pedestrian-unfriendly place I have *ever* lived. :P Pedestrians never have the right of way over cars, even during a Walk sign, and cars go down pedestrian-only streets constantly (when I moved there a professor warned me, thankfully, that they take "Pedestrians Only" as a challenge, not an edict, so I wasn't surprised).

i just think you'd hate it, s'all.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jun. 17th, 2002 04:50 pm (UTC)
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Yes, I would be pretty unhappy there. It's shocking to hear of a place dramatically worse than LA.

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[you'll find a light, find a friend, find a way]

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from: artemii
date: Jun. 17th, 2002 04:53 pm (UTC)
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I still wish I had taken photos of all the cars parked diagonally on the sidewalk at corners!

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